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Hillary Clinton and Shonda Rhimes Honored by Planned Parenthood

New York, NY-- On Tuesday, more than 1,500 supporters joined Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood of New York City at their once-in-a-lifetime Gala, 100 Years Strong: The Celebration of a Century, at Pier 36. The star-studded event celebrated 100 years of progress Planned Parenthood has driven for women and families and that it vows to continue serving Americans for the next 100 years.

“We’re so humbled and grateful for all the support we’ve seen for Planned Parenthood and our patients during our 100th anniversary,” said Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards. “Although we paused to celebrate the successes of our first century, we also acknowledged the tremendous challenges we face — and recognized that together, we’re strong enough to take them on. Every day, people show up at our health centers. And every day, Planned Parenthood doctors, clinicians and staff provide expert, compassionate care — no matter what. In our second century, we recommit ourselves to ensuring that access to health care is a reality for all people.”

“One thing was clear last night – nothing can stop Planned Parenthood and our community from fighting for what we believe in,” said Joan Malin, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of New York City. “A hundred years after we opened that first clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn, we’re stronger than we’ve ever been and more determined to fight for our patients and our communities. We won’t stop until everyone, in every community throughout New York City and the entire nation, has access to all the resources they need to protect their health and achieve their dreams.”

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards presented the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton with the Champion of the Century Award for her 40 years of service to women and girls in this country; and Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep presented Shonda Rhimes with the Champion of Change Award for revolutionizing the way women and issues of reproductive health — including safe, legal abortion — are portrayed on television. Guests also heard from Chelsea Handler and former Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Faye Wattleton, and several people spoke about what Planned Parenthood has meant in their lives and why they’ll continue to fight for access to sexual and reproductive health care.

“Progress is never fully won — it has to be renewed generation after generation,” Clinton said. “We stand on the shoulders of the women and men who came before us, and march alongside young activists who are leading the way forward. Some of you have heard me say recently that I have a new mantra, one of those things that pops into your head on long walks in the woods. ‘Resist, insist, persist, enlist.’ That’s what you’ve been doing for 100 years, and with the commitment and courage of everyone here tonight, I know it’s what you’ll do for 100 more.”

“There is so much work to be done. And not a lot of time to do it. My oldest daughter is 14. We were supposed to have fixed the whole planet for her by now. I promised her that when she was born,” Rhimes said. “So…we work.  I will do my part. I will do champion-y things. As hard as I can. I will CONSCIOUSLY make an effort to do champion-y things. Because what I did before, that was me at half-speed. Me at full speed? Get out of the way, please.”

The Gala also featured an art auction of major works donated by renowned artists Nan Goldin, Cecily Brown, Tauba Auerbach, Christopher Wool, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Dan Colen, Glenn Ligon, Lawrence Weiner, and Enoc Perez. The Gala concluded with remarks from Tumblr CEO David Karp and singer-songwriter Halsey, who shared a personal story about what Planned Parenthood means to her, and an after-party featuring Questlove.

You can learn more about Planned Parenthood's first century at 100years.plannedparenthood.org/.